MTA worker struck by train seeks footage prepping for suit

An MTA worker who lost part of his leg and had his other leg “shattered” after being struck by a Q train plans to sue the city and is seeking surveillance footage and other evidence, new court papers show.

Andre Downes, a signal maintainer who was working with a crew on the tracks, was struck by the northbound express train near 8th Street-NYU station on Jan. 9.

Downes has already filed a notice of claim against the city and says he needs video footage of the accident and investigative materials to prepare for his hearing and to prepare to bring a lawsuit, the Manhattan Supreme Court petition from Wednesday says.

“Mr. Downes sustained gruesome and severe injuries including a left leg amputation, multiple fractures in the right leg and other serious injuries,” the petition says. “He is currently hospitalized and under sedation for his injuries.”

A photo of Downes, 26, recovering in the hospital shows his legs bandaged and the left one amputated a few inches below his knee.

The five-year MTA veteran had been apart of a work crew exploring a report of a signal failure, officials said at the time.

The train accident resulted in Downes having part of his left leg amputated as well as several other injuries.
Provided by Scott Rynecki

While the train operator saw Downes — who was wearing a reflective vest as he was walking away from the oncoming train — they were unable to stop the train in time, according to an internal report.

“It’s unfair. These track workers put their lives at risk every time they step out there,” Downes’ lawyer Scott Rynecki told The Post. “We don’t think the MTA is doing enough to protect these workers.”

“Somebody messed up pretty bad,” Rynecki said. “He was doing what he was supposed to do. The next thing he knows, he has a train barreling down on him.”

Rynecki said there are safety measures that should have been in place but weren’t, including that dispatch didn’t warn the workers of the oncoming train, and claimed the agency would “do whatever they can to hide the issues,” which is why they want to secure any video of the incident and other evidence.

Downes was working as a  signal maintainer when he was struck by a Q train near 8th Street-NYU station.
Downes was working as a signal maintainer when he was struck by a Q train near 8th Street-NYU station.
William C Lopez/NY Post

Rynecki said his client is still at Bellevue Hospital and has had to undergo several procedures on his amputated leg to remove debris and infection.

The MTA and the city Law Department both declined to comment.

“He’s in excruciating pain,” the lawyer said.

“Emotionally it’s a lot,” Rynecki said, adding that Downes is engaged. “He still promised [his fiancée] that he will be walking down the aisle for their wedding this summer.”